Blackjack is a Simple Game with Many Variations

By Ben Hamill - February 11 2016

This time I'd like to go over the differences of a few esoteric blackjack variations. I know that rules differ as to how often a player can split, which pairs they can split, if they can double down with any total, the number of decks used, surrender, and insurance. I won't get into theses quite standard differences.

Blackjack Switch

This game was invented in 2009 by a fellow named Geoff Hall who specializes in making up odd variants of blackjack. The main twist in Blackjack Switch is that each player gets two hands. If they want to, players can switch their two top cards. This is not an exchange as in draw poker; it's a switch.

Being able to recast your hands is a real advantage for players. It sounds exciting and on the surface it is. But the house makes two big rule changes which more than make up for the players' advantage.

The first change is that blackjack pays only 1-1 instead of 3-2. When a player plays a long session of blackjack, this change alone creates a big monetary loss.

The second rule change is that if dealer gets a hard 22, it's a push against every player's hand (that hasn't busted) except blackjack.

The house edge in Blackjack Switch is much higher than in regular blackjack so I highly recommend you play in in Free Mode rather than for real money.

Double Exposure Blackjack

This variation is much more favorable to players. In double exposure, players see both of the dealer's cards! What an advantage!

Naturally, the house makes some changes to bring its edge back.

It is illogical to offer surrender and insurance when players can see the dealer's hand so these options are not offered. Players can split only once. Players are usually restricted to doubling down with 9, 10, or 11 points. Blackjack pays only 1-1. Here is the biggest and most significant rule change: all ties, including blackjack, go to the house.

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Double Attack Blackjack

In this game, the first card dealt is the dealer's up card. Players then have the chance to go on the attack by doubling their bet. You can imagine how valuable this option is when dealer shows a 5 or a 6 especially.

Double attack blackjack is based on Spanish 21 in which the tens are removed and a 48-card deck is used. This dramatically reduces the odds of a 10-point card coming up.

Players can split up to three times except aces which you can split only once. When you split aces, you get only one card. Players can double down or surrender at any time.

The biggest change affecting players negatively is that blackjack pays only 1-1.

There are also many side bets in double attack blackjack. Here it's very important to fully understand the rules at your online casino of choice.

High Streak Blackjack

This variation is exactly like standard blackjack except that players can make a side bet that pays out well if they have a winning streak. The payouts range from 1-1 for a streak of two hands to 10-1 for a winning streak of five hands.

Strategists often say that card counters benefit in this game. The game uses two decks but the game is programmed to shuffle the cards after every hand. So, card counting is a moot point for all but the most skilled card counters.

Some players say they take the side bet when they have had a losing streak of at least three hands. This is faulty strategy because with the Random Number Generator, each hand is a separate and unique entity. As such, there are no winning or losing streaks.

However, since you only need to win two in a row to win the simplest side bet, many blackjack players like to make this minimal side bet.

Matchplay 21 Blackjack

This is a very popular online blackjack variation at those casinos that offer it. Matchplay 21 is played exactly like standard blackjack. It uses six decks so card counting is almost impossible.

The extra benefit for players is the 10 bonuses players receive for specific hands. For example, 21 with five or six cards creates a bonus. Three sevens, or a 6, 7, 8 combination create bonuses.

Multi-hand Blackjack

This is the best form of online blackjack for players who understand the standard rules and can count cards. There are rudimentary card counting systems as well as the genius systems.

Because you as the player can play several hands you get to see more cards and can calculate the best strategy for the last two or three hands you're playing.

Multi-hand blackjack is truly best for card counters. If you don't count cards, it offers no specific advantage but if you can stay under 21 and dealer busts you win, in effect, several hands at once!

Standard blackjack charts are available widely on the internet. When you play multi-hand blackjack and use a chart, you increase your winning chances.

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Superfun 21 Blackjack

This wild blackjack variation is likely the most popular of all the different versions of the game. There are a lot of ways for players to win. When you play online, the computer does all the payout thinking for you but it's still great fun to win in different strange combinations.

If you get 20 or fewer points with six cards, you get a bonus. A player's blackjack always defeats the dealer's blackjack. A blackjack in diamonds pays 2-1.

Read the Rules

I touched lightly upon a few interesting blackjack variations. In these and in any online game you play for real money, it is imperative that you know exactly what you're getting into with any game.

Tutorials Help

Many, but not all online casinos have game tutorials. Tutorials are also not all the same. Some are well-written; they are easily understood by average players. Some hype the games rather than explain them. So we always say, especially with regard to blackjack which lends itself to variation, read the rules carefully.

Having done so, you'll be ready to enjoy a great deal of exciting gambling fun with online blackjack.

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